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General Information, Facts & Tables

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The following table lists the common vitamins and their properties.


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Deficiency symptoms

Effects of excess

Thiamin (B1)

1.5 mg

Pork; Liver; Meat; Whole grains; Fortified grain products; Legumes; Nuts.

Functions as part of a coenzyme to promote carbohydrate metabolism, production of ribose, a constituent of DNA and RNA. Promotes normal appetite and normal functioning of nervous system.

Impaired growth; Wasting of tissues; Mental confusion; Low morale; Edema; Severe beriberi.

None reported.

Riboflavin (B2)

1.7 mg

Liver; Milk; Yoghurt; Cottage cheese; Meat; Fortified grain products.

Functions as part of a coenzyme assisting cells to use oxygen for the release of energy from food; Promotes good vision and healthy skin.

Lesions of cornea; Cracks at corners of mouth.

None reported.


20 mg

Liver; Meat; Poultry; Fish; Peanuts; Fortified grain products; Synthesised from tryptophan (on the average 1 mg of niacin from 60 mg of dietary tryptophan).

Functions as part of a coenzyme in fat synthesis; Tissue respiration and utilisation of carbohydrate for energy. Promotes healthy skin, nerves and digestive tract. Aids digestion and fosters normal appetite.

Skin and gastrointestinal lesions; Anorexia; Weakness; Irritability; Vertigo. Severe: Pellagra.

None for nicotinamide; Flushing Headache, Cramps, Nausea for nicotinic acid.


2.0 mg

Meat; Poultry; Fish; Shellfish; Green and leafy vegetables; Whole grains; Legumes.

Functions as part of a coenzyme involved in protein metabolism; Assists in conversion of tryptophan to niacin, fatty acid metabolism and red blood cell formation.

Irritability; Muscle twitching; Dermatitis near eyes; Kydney stones; Hypochromic anemia.

None reported.


6.0 mg

Meat; Poultry; Fish; Shellfish; Eggs; Milk and milk products.

Functions in coenzymes involved in nucleic acid synthesis and biological methylation. Assists in development of normal red blood cells and maintenance of nerve tissue.

Severe: Pernicious anemia; Neurological disorders.

None reported.


0.4 mg

Liver; Legumes; Green leafy vegetables.

Functions as part of coenzymes in amino acid and nucleoprotein metabolism. Promotes red blood cell formation.

Red tongue, Diarrhea; Anemia.

May obscure the existence of pernicious anemia.

Pantothenic Acid

10 mg

Liver; Kidney; Meats; Milk; Egg yolk; Whole grains; Legumes.

Functions as part of a coenzyme involved in energy metabolism.

Rare because found in most foods; Fatigue; Sleep disorders; Nausea.

None reported.


0.3 mg

Kidney; Liver; Milk; Egg yolks; Most fresh vegetables.

Functions as part of a coenzyme involved in fat synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and glycogen formation.

Fatigue; Depression; Nausea; Dermatitis; Muscular pains.

None reported.

Ascorbic Acid (C)

60 mg

Broccoli; Sweet and hot peppers; Collards; Brussel sprouts; Strawberries; Orange; Kale; Grapefruit; Papaya; Potato; Mango; Tangerine; Spinach; Tomato;

Forms cementing substances, such as collagen, that hold body cells together, thus strengthening blood vessels, hastening and healing of wounds and bones and increasing resistance to infection. Aids in use of iron.

Mild: Bruise easily, Bleeding gums. Severe: Scurvy.

When megadose is discontinued, deficiency symptoms may briefly appear until the body adapts. Newborns whose mothers took megadoses, will show deficiency symptoms after birth until the body adapts.

Retinol (A)

5000 IU

Retinol; Liver; Butter; Whole milk; Cheese; Egg yolk; Provitamin A; Carrots; Leafy green vegetables; Sweet potatoes; pumpkin; Winter squash; Apricots; Cantaloupe; Fortified margarine.

Assists formation and maintenance of skin and mucous membranes thus increasing resistance to infections. Functions in visual processes and forms visual purple. Promotes bone and tooth development.

Mild: Night blindness; diarrhea, intestinal infections, impaired growth. Severe: xerophthalmia.

Mild: Nausea; irritability, blurred vision. Severe: Growth retardation; enlargement of liver and spleen; Loss of hair; rheumatic pain; Increased pressure to skull dermal changes.


400 IU

Vitamin D; Fortified dietary products; Fortified margarine; Fish oils; Egg yolk; Synthesised by sunlight action on skin.

Promotes classification of bones and teeth; Increases intestinal absorption of calcium.

Rickets in children; Osteomalacia in adults (rare)

Mild: Nausea, Weight loss, Irritability. Severe Mental and physical growth retardation; Kidney damage; Mobilisation of calcium from bony tissue and deposits in soft tissue.


30 IU

Vegetable oil; Margarine; Shortening; Green and leafy vegetables; Wheat germ; Whole grain products; Egg yolk; Butter; Liver.

Functions as an antioxidant protecting vitamins A and C and fatty acids from destruction, and prevents cell-membrane damage.

Almost impossible to produce without starvation. Possible anemia in low birth weight infants.

Nontoxic under normal conditions.


Green leafy vegetables, Eggs, Liver, Whole milk. Made in intestinal tract.

Blood clotting.

Newborns:anaemia, jaundice. Adults, thrombosis, vomiting.